Daley Ranch

Loop • 12 mi • 0 ft

This ride is located northeast of Escondido in San Diego's north County region. Beginning a few miles from the center of Escondido, the ride quickly climbs through rocky, boulder-strewn land. There are good views of adjacent Lake Dixon as the trail roller-coasters through the Diegan coastal sage scrub ecosystem and into some grasslands. Ponds are sprinkled on both sides of the trail as you meander to the Ranch House, a 1928 redwood building that served as the headquarters for the Daley family dairy. this is a shady, cool place to stop for a break before climbing up the steep Central Valley Loop Trail. As you approach the ranch's northern border, the route unveils a fun, quick singletrack that leads to a steep downhill. afterwards, a more mellow descent past ducks and ospreys returns you to the ranch entrance and the parking lot. It's now just a few minutes drive to a celebratory burrito in Escondido.
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Activity Type: Mountain Biking
Nearby City: Escondido
Length: 12 total miles
Elevation Gain: Minimal
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Aerobic: Moderate. Technical: Moderate.
Season: Year-round.
Local Contacts: City of Escondido, Daley Ranch
Local Maps: Welcome to Daley Ranch map and guide.
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Recent Trail Reviews


Good local intow ride. Worth 12 miles of up and down on double track.


Daley Ranch is situated as to afford great hiking for North County San Diego and South Orange County residents alike. The trails are well marked and offer a wide range of difficulty levels. With a little planning, one can hike a few miles or several by combining loops, all of which are well documented on the free trail maps available at the main entrance trail head. Because of the presence of a handful of small ponds, early morning treks will provide the visitor with views of several species of birds and an occasional glimpse of coyotes hanging about. Late afternoon and evening walks also bring out the critters which makes any hike more enjoyable. Water is available at the trailhead and at the Daley ranch house. Both locations also provide chemical toilets which can be useful, of course. I also like the varied terrain, ranging from meadows, ridge lines, boulder dells and tree-lined trails. It can get hot during the summer months, so plan ahead and bring plenty of water if you find yourself walking in the middle of the day.

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